Star Trek: Discovery (or STD, for short… oh, hang on… I’ll just call it Discovery, then) begins with a far from original premise, but there are still surprises to come which, following this double bill, are making me look forward to next week’s third episode more than I expected.
For the first televised adventure of the USS Shenzhou, the enemy is the Klingons. As ‘Kirk’ said in The Simpsons parody, Star Trek XII: So Very Tired, “Klingons! Always with the Klingons…”. That aside, the Klingons are doom-mongers, moaning that they’re going to be killed off… a bit like all those people who bang on about so-called ‘man-made global warming’.
In case you miss the baddies saying how they don’t believe anyone who says they come in peace, they repeat this a few more times along the way.
The Starship is helmed by Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), who we first see out and about with her No.1, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), a human who joined the Vulcan Learning Centre. Michael is a man’s name, but she’s a woman, so why is she called Michael? This is never explained. They’ve worked together for 7 years, with the boss suggesting she gets her own ship, but clearly that isn’t happening any time soon, especially as they’ve got 15 episodes to work through.
Their initial task was quite an odd one, first moaning on some barren planet about how the inhabitants, the Crepusculans, are facing a drought that’ll last 89 years and how they need to find a well and get it sorted out. Then hey presto, they find the well, fire a few shots down it, seemingly at random, and all’s fixed. No forever-long drought. Huh?
In this first episode, Michael ends up face-to-face with an angry Klingon, and this time… it’s personal (yes, they’re not big on originality, as I mentioned earlier).
Although this is a Netflix programme, they’ve clearly added places for ad breaks, in case it ends up on regular telly one day.
With lens flare aplenty, I was never bored by it, but I was never wowed by it. Their first adventure just wasn’t very… adventurous. Okay, so they’ve got to introduce the characters, but while I am intrigued to see what comes next, I do feel they’ve painted themselves into a corner. Then again, nothing is ever a problem that a bit of time-travelling can’t fix, as Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, can’t fix.
I must add that it also has quite an unremarkable theme, as I can’t remember after watching both episodes, and it’s certainly not as iconic as that from the original series or The Next Generation
I guess when episode 3 comes, we’ll discover Jason Isaacs’ character, as he wasn’t in the opener, oddly, despite having a credit.
Overall, Star Trek: Discovery is nothing original or revolutionary, but it’s pretty entertaining. I’m not a Trekkie and only, really, have a passing interest in any Star Trek TV series, as I generally just watch the films, but I’ll always check out something new.
Star Trek: Discovery isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but you can buy a selection of books and badges. Also, click on the top image for the full-size version.
Running 44 and 40 minutes
Released: July 21st 2017
Episodes 1 and 2: 6/10
Director: David Semel (A Vulcan Hello) and Adam Kane (Battle at the Binary Stars)
Producers: Aaron Baiers, Jill Danton, Elan Dassani, Rajeev Dassani, Geoffrey Hemwall, April Nocifora and Kosta Orfanidis
Creators: Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman
Screenplay: Gretchen J Berg and Aaron Harberts (A Vulcan Hello) and Bryan Fuller and Akiva Goldsman (Battle at the Binary Stars) (based upon Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry)
Music: Jeff Russo
Captain Philippa Georgiou: Michelle Yeoh
Cmdr. Michael Burnham: Sonequa Martin-Green
Saru: Doug Jones
Ash Tyler: Shazad Latif
Lt. Stamets: Anthony Rapp
Cadet Tilly: Mary Wiseman
Captain Gabriel Lorca: Jason Isaacs
Young Michael Burnham: Arista Arhin
Polygon: Jimmy Chimarios
Keyla Detmer: Emily Coutts
Klingon: Nicole Dickinson
Voq: Javid Iqbal
Dennas: Clare McConnell
Kol: Kenneth Mitchell
Kamran Gant: Ali Momen
Young T’Kuvma: Thamela Mpumlwana
T’Kuvma: Chris Obi
Sarek: James Frain
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.